We are happy to announce a new joint research project in the field of aptamer development. Together with our partners from the University of Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany), the Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University (Karaman, Turkey) and Nehir Biyoteknoloji (Ankara, Turkey), we will develop a novel approach for selective aptamer production.

Aptamers, in this case DNA aptamers, are oligonucleotide molecules that are designed and selected to bind to specific targets.

The technique developed in this project will enable an increased throughput in aptamer selection (up to 20 to 200 times more aptamers characterised in one single run), which reduces the amount of time and personnel costs by a factor of 2 to 5. The outcome of the aptamer screening for aptamer binders against tumor biomarkers will directly lead to follow up development for diagnostics applications and even treatment or drug development.

Biametrics’ SCORE technology will be applied for the high-throughput screening of possible aptamer binders. Thus, up to 22,500 different aptamers can be characterised regarding their kinetic and thermodynamic properties. In commonly used approaches nowadays, typical amounts of analysed aptamers range from 10 to 100. With such high throughput, the new technique will outcompete existing setups by far. The aptamers that showed good binding within SCORE will be selected, released by photo-cleavage and analysed via pyrosequencing. Unlike SELEX, which provides a list of the most abundant aptamers in the final pool but without any information about binding affinity, the consortiums approach will provide the best binders from the pool.

The project starts on 1st October 2017 with a duration of 2 years and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) within its “2+2 Projects” programme (German partners) and TÜBITAK (Turkish partners).

This article was written by
Goran was Fundraiser and Technical Writer at Biametrics until end of 2017. He holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry and has been working with label-free technologies since 2001.